State regulators have a wealth of resources available to help them respond to the upcoming environmental regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Energy efficiency, renewable energy, and smarter use of technology to manage customer demand can all help lower the cost of meeting the pending regulations. In an AP article, RAP principal Rich Sedano pointed to the importance of early and proper planning to reduce the cost of meeting the regulations.
Energy efficiency is the only tool that reduces greenhouse gases at no cost to society, and which provides additional benefits including reducing other pollutants, lowering energy bills, and stimulating local economic development. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has indicated a willingness to consider energy efficiency and other demand side resources as potential compliance pathways under its upcoming regulations. Yet, the tight timeline for submitting compliance plans and relative inexperience by both EPA and states at regulating greenhouse gases, suggests states must start planning now to ensure a smooth transition.
Several RAP publications provide guidance and recommendations to help states navigate the process: